Controversial Glyndebourne wind turbine hailed as beacon for the future

Glyndebourne wind turbine
Glyndebourne wind turbine

Wind energy has been the world’s fastest growing renewable energy source for the last decade and in January last year Sir David Attenborough launched Glyndebourne’s wind turbine.

The Enercon E44 endorsed the opera house as an environmental innovator in the arts community.

Following the launch, the UK’s only opera house to host an on-site wind turbine has reported positively on its first year’s renewable energy generation.

The turbine has generated 89 per cent of the organisation’s electricity requirements in the 12 months to January 31, compared to the stated target of 90 per cent in a year of slightly below average wind speed.

During this period, the turbine has achieved an annual yield of 1,395 megawatt-hours (MWh) in 7,433 operating hours, with average annual wind speeds of 5.68 metres per second.

Gus Christie, Executive Chairman of Glyndebourne Productions, said: “We are delighted that these figures have met our predictions – for one turbine to harness the wind on the hill above Glyndebourne and power the opera house represents a huge step in our long-term aspiration of becoming carbon neutral from our direct operations.

“We are implementing many other energy-saving technologies to further reduce our carbon emissions. We are proud that the turbine has raised awareness of climate change within the local community and among the many audiences who visit us throughout the year.”

Having supported the project from the outset, Lewes Liberal Democrats are pleased that the first year’s figures are positive.

District Councillor Peter Gardiner said: “I am proud to be associated with Glyndebourne’s wind turbine. There is clearly enough wind, the turbine is efficient and people find great beauty in Norman Foster’s design. Noise has not proved a public nuisance and a recent survey of residents’ attitudes carried out by Ringmer Liberal Democrats showed that few people found the sound disturbing. Today there is a much greater appreciation of climate change and the need for renewable energy, and the Glyndebourne turbine is a beacon for the future.”

Local environmental champion Verity Cannings, 17, helped launch the turbine. She said: “Glyndebourne is inspiring local communities by exploring ways to minimise the effects of climate change and I hope other companies will follow its lead.”